Sunday, April 29, 2012

End of the Year Behavior Blues {Freebies}

The good thing about having so, so, so many teaching blogs in my Google Reader is knowing that I'm not alone singing the End of the Year Behavior Blues.

Since before spring break, my sweet kiddos have been bouncing off the walls, not listening to directions, treating each other badly, and the list could go on and on.  It's disappointing and frustrating as a teacher, because we have twenty days of school left and still have LOTS of things to do! All classes are different, and this year's class is no exception. Usually, by this time of the year, my darlings pull themselves together and we have lots of fun together the last few weeks of school.  Even my most difficult classes, like the ones who bickered constantly and forgot the rules daily, seemed to pull it together the last few weeks of school.  Of course, I'm sure holding an overnight trip to the zoo over their heads helped matter too. ;)

This class, however,  is different.  My tried and true Behavior Bingo class incentive isn't working.

What has worked with this class is individual behavior rewards, those above and beyond our behavior our clip chart.  So I'm taking that and running with it the last few days of school.

At Christmas time, each of my kiddos cut out a Christmas tree shape, put their name on it, and hung them in the hallway.  When I noticed stellar behavior, I let them put a sticker on their tree.  I got this idea from a blog and forgot to pin it, so if this is you, let me know! Whoever had the most stickers the day break started, won a prize,  which were some cool craft items from Michaels Dollar Spot.  My friends LOVED this and I'm starting it again tomorrow! I'm having each of my friends decorate a surfboard and whoever has the most stickers on their surfboard on the last day of school will receive a cool prize.  I'll also be doing a second and third place prize as well.  

I also did Rachel's Pumpkin Present earlier in the year and LOVED it.  So did my kids, so it's coming back but in a much more thrifty version.  Hey, building a house is expensive! :) I have a stuffed Brutus, Ohio State's mascot, in my room and my kiddos love him.  So Brutus will be moving around the room to kiddos desks who are being leaders with their behavior.  Whoever has Brutus on their desk at the end of the day gets to pick one of the following rewards:

Nothing fancy, but hopefully they will still be motivated by these free but fun incentives. :)  If you're interested, you can download these rewards {here}.

I am changing up a few whole class incentives because I feel it's important that my students recognize the importance of teamwork. I am mainly incorporating the smiley/frown point system from Whole Brain Teaching.  Basically my students will get tallies on the smile side for things they do well as a class as a team, and tallies on the frown side for things they need to work on.  If the class gets more smiles than frowns at the end of the day, they get a small reward like choice time or minutes towards our extra recess bank.  If you're interested, you can download your own copy {here}. I'm putting mine in a sleeve protector so I can use my expo markers to do the tallies and reuse the board each day. 
I'm all about consistency and routine in my classroom, especially with behavior, but we are s-t-r-u-g-g-l-i-n-g, so something has to be done.  I'm hoping that these changes are positive and well received by my students.  

Google Docs was not working for me tonight, so the links will take you directly to Scrib to download the links.  Please let me know if they don't work for you!

If you found any of these resources helpful, I'd love if you left me a comment. :)  Also, I still have one copy of my Surfs Up Subtraction spinners to give away, check it out {here}.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Surfs Up Subtraction Spinners {Mini Giveaway: First Three Free!}

Hello, friends! :) 
I just finished up Surfs Up Subtraction Spinner Games! Hallelujah! :)

My darlings really struggle with quick recall of their subtraction facts, so I hoping this bundle of subtraction spinner games does the trick! I'm a big fan of easy peasy, nice and easy when it comes to math centers.  All you need are copies of the game boards, a paper clip for a spinner, the optional recording sheet, and counters.  That's it! :) The bundle is Common Core aligned and has students practicing their subtraction facts from 20 to 2! :) 

This bundle is currently on sale until Monday morning for $2.00, it will normally be $4.00.  If interested, you can check out this bundle at my Teachers Pay Teachers or Teachers Notebook stores.  

I'm also giving away this bundle to the first THREE friends who comment below! :)Ready, set go!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you so much for entering my first giveaway and congratulations to Julie who was the winner!  I'll be emailing you your winnings tomorrow. :)

I'm still having a horrible time thinking of a blog name that can follow me in fourth grade and beyond, so lot for a fun contest on the blog soon! 

Have a great evening and awesome day tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Study Jams and Testing Freebie

Hello friends!  Tonight's post is super short as my to do list is about a mile long.  How many days until summer? 

I've discovered a new website that I just love, Study Jams!While I adore Brainpop Jr, I am not a big fan of Brain Pop.  I've found the videos are much often too short to really introduce or even review a topic.  Study Jams has in-dept, engaging, and interactive videos for a variety of math and science topics.  While most of the videos are little bit too advanced for my second graders, I've been able to utilize a few in my of them during my sound and geometry units. I know I will be visiting Study Jams! a lot next year when I move up to fourth grade.

My BFF has her own blog and TpT store and just uploaded a fantastic testing encouragement freebie to TpT. She teaches fifth grade math and gave these to her kiddos to encourage them for the OAA Math test.  I'm so happy that she has a few of my former students! They are lucky to have her. She placed a Smartie at the bottom of the card, and they were precious.  If you'd like a copy, click on the image below to download if from her TpT store, or click {here}.

Okay, I'm off to chill with a few moments of HGTV before bed. Don't forget my grade level change giveaway ends tomorrow at 10 PM EST. Click on the picture to head over to the original post to enter!

I'm currently working a project that I'm super excited about! My husband is having minor surgery on Thursday, so I hope to finish it up while he sleeps after his surgery, since I'll have a sub that day.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Safari Subtraction {Freebie}

Hello Classroom Freebies readers, thanks for stopping by my blog!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

It's hard to believe that my students and I only have 23 days left of school.  Before ya'll start throwing tomatoes at me and booing, we went back to school on August 22nd.  We've also had super short Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks and no other random days off other than federal holidays.  So our early summer break is deserved in my humble, little opinion. ;)

Since our school year is quickly coming to an end, we will be taking our end of the year benchmark testing soon, which in second grade means fluency tests in addition and subtraction facts.  We practice our facts daily in class, it's a part of their homework routine too, but still many of my friends struggle with quick recall of their subtraction facts.  My kiddos are expected to be fluent in their subtraction fact recall from 18, so I whipped up a quick little game for my friends to use during math centers this week to practice our subtraction facts from 18.  All you need are some math counters, a paper clip, and pencil and your students are ready to play this subtraction spinner game!

If you'd like a copy, you can download it below!

Thanks for stopping by! If you're interested in potentially winning ALL of my second grade math materials, check out this post.  I'm throwing a "Grade Level Change Giveaway" until Wednesday evening. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Second Grade Math Giveaway!

Yesterday, I made a pretty big announcement. :)

While I've enjoyed my year in second, I feel my heart/niche really is in the early intermediate grades, and so to celebrate that I'll be teaching fourth-sters next year, I'm having a giveaway! 

There are SIX ways to enter! :)  Please, please, please leave your email with each entry! :) 

1. Become a follower my blog and leave a comment telling me that you do! :)
2. Become a follower of my Teachers Pay Teachers store and leave a comment telling me that you do. :)
3.  Make my  Teachers Notebook Store  a favorite store of yours and leave a comment telling me that you do. :)
4. Blog about or mention my giveaway on your own blog/Facebook page and leave a comment telling me that you did. 
5. Leave a link to your favorite fourth grade blog in the comments, I have a lot of reading to do! :) 
6. Follow my blog in your Google Reader and leave a comment telling me that you do! :)

If you already own something from this giveaway, I'll be happy to swap that item out for another item in my store. :)

I will be using a random number generator to pick a lucky winner at 10:00 pm EST on Wednesday, April 25th! 


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sound Parade and a Big Annoucement... :)

I'll get to my big announcement in a minute.  
No, I am not with child.  Just be patient, you'll find out soon. :)

For the past few week or so, we've been studying sound.  My kiddos have had a lot of fun and become quite the little Smarties when it comes to sound, vibrations, pitch, volume, and echo.  Most of the activities we used came from our Aims science curriculum and were supplemented with Nicole Shelby's awesome sound mini unit!  I loved her whole unit and my kids really understood the vocabulary behind sound because of her awesome sound etch-a-sketch activity.  I just wish we had time to do all the great activities she included, but since I've been out so much lately due to Common Core meetings and a few personal family matters, I've had to be practical and leave more manageable activities for my subs.  

Yesterday was our big sound parade! All the second graders were encouraged to bring in an instrument they made at home and we marched around the whole school playing them.  

 A few of the the instruments brought in.  One of the requirements was to use common household materials, I love seeing their creativity! One student made a drum set out of boxes that had his face on it. :)
 We really had a great time! I only had my iPhone with me and it doesn't take the best pictures, so sadly I don't have that many. :(

It really was a fun activity, and is a memory my kiddos will hopefully remember for a long, long time. I do have a couple freebies to share from our sound parade, however, I am waiting on my Scrappin' Doodles license first! :)

My friends have been quite restless and chatty lately.  So I've been digging into my bag of tricks as much as possible to get them up and moving. I just want to say bless the heart of the teacher who dreamed up the idea of Scoot/Move About many moons ago.  

I foresee us doing a lot of Scoot in the last few weeks of school.  We were all kinds of crazy sauce before the parade and I needed to get some type of math instruction in.  Since we are benchmark assessing on math fact fluency soon, I downloaded this free addition/subtraction scoot from TpT.  It was perfect because some of the problems had missing numbers and were the perfect challenge to really stretch this activity.  

Okay, now that I've kept you waiting, I can make my big announcement!  Some of you know that I taught third grade for four years before I was moved to second for budgetary reasons.  As the year has gone on, I've really missed teaching older kids.  I miss the independence and how deep you can really go with topics.  My principal approached me a few days ago with a solution, and it was made official yesterday, so I can now proudly say:

I'm teaching fourth grade next year!

I met with my new team yesterday and I'm so excited.  They are a great group of innovative ladies and I'm thrilled to be working with them.  I student taught in fourth grade and down right loved the age group, so I'm over the moon about this change.  It's just the good news my family needed, there's been a little black cloud hanging over us for a while and things are starting to finally look up! :)

Which means I'll probably be changing my bloggy name, any suggestions? I was thinking of  Tales of a Fourth Grade Teacher, but I have since found out that there is someone out there with a similar name. I'm considering a non grade level themed name so I never have to change, my last name does mean fish in another language and I could probably something with "school of fish."  Do ya'll have any suggestions for me? 

Have a great weekend friends, tomorrow I'll be back with a giveaway! :)  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tax Day Sale....Buy Two, Get One Free

Happy Tax Day! My husband and I did our taxes ages ago, so thankfully we are not running around trying to get them finished this weekend! 

Lots of TpT sellers are throwing Tax Day sales and I am getting in on the fun too! Many thanks to Hadar for the idea and Rachelle for the super cute picture!
All non math items in my store are 15% off and all math related items are still 50% off until the end of the day today!
I'm also sweetening the deal.  For every two items you purchase at my store, you'll get one for free. :)  Once you've purchased two items at either one of my stores, just shoot me an email at storiesfromsecond at gmail dot com and I'll email you the file you'd like for free. :)
I'm so excited about this sale!  Our school gets out really early this year and the Teacher Appreciation Week sale is literally only a few days before our school lets out for the summer.  I can't wait to pick up a few items I've had my eye to finish out the year!

Click on the icons below to check out my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook stores.  I will be running the 15%/50% sale at both stores this weekend!

Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd - Reading Strategies, Basic Operations -
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